Who knew? All it took was a rare morning start time to wake up the Twins’ bats.
So far this season, the Twins have been held to three or more runs six times in their 10 games played. Unsurprisingly, they’re 0-6 in those games. That also means that they’re 4-0 when scoring four or more runs.
Put simply, it’s been an all-or-nothing offense to this point.
Monday morning in Boston was another example of this, although it wasn’t as thoroughly a dominate of a performance as the final score might indicate.
Dylan Bundy turned in his second consecutive impressive start in a Twins uniform, hurling 5 1⁄3 innings while only giving up a single run. His control was impeccable, with a slider hovering around 80 miles per hour dotting the corner that allowed his fastball, which sat between 88 and 89 miles per hour for much of the outing, to remain effective up in the zone.
Bundy managed to strike out six Red Sox batters while issuing zero walks. He gave up a run in the fifth inning after a leadoff double from Alex Verdugo, a single by Christian Arroyo, and a Christian Vazquez RBI groundout.
Bundy didn’t struggle with his control at all until the sixth inning when he issued a full-count single to Rafael Devers and a 2-1 double to Xander Bogaerts. He was replaced by Joe Smith, who induced a groundball from J.D. Martinez that led to an out on the basepaths, with Miguel Sano throwing to Gio Urshela at third base, getting Devers into a rundown that he could not escape.
Smith intentionally walked Verdugo to load the bases, and on the first pitch, Arroyo proved Rocco Baldelli correct by flying out to Gliberto Celestino in center field. The Twins escaped the inning with no damage being done.
By this point in the game, the Twins had already built a 4-1 lead, thanks to a line-drive two-run home run from Kyle Garlick (yay, platoons!) in the first inning and a towering two-run home run from Jorge Polanco in the third.
Jhoan Duran ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the seventh inning, issuing a solo homer to Vazquez before walking the light-hitting Jackie Bradley, Jr. But he struck out both Kike Hernandez and Rafael Devers to end the inning, preserving the Twins’ 4-1 lead.
The Twins added on in the eighth, capitalizing on some persistent wildness from Boston pitcher Kutter Crawford. Max Kepler, who had pinch-hit for Garlick earlier (yay, platoons!), walked on four pitches. Then, Gary Sanchez walked. After a Trevor Larnach strikeout and a Miguel Sano fly-out, Luis Arraez pinch-hit for Ryan Jeffers. Crawford uncorked a wild pitch that extended the Twins’ lead to 5-1, and after Sanchez moved up to second base, the Sox intentionally walked Arraez.
Celestino coaxed a walk after a 10-pitch at-bat, loading the bases for Polanco. Jorge came through again, yanking a grounder through the right side of the infield to plate a pair of runs.
Griffin Jax scattered five hits over the final two innings, giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth but allowing the Twins to hold on for an 8-3 win, splitting the series with the Red Sox.
- Jorge Polanco was phenomenal.
- Carlos Correa had two hits and a walk! It would be magnificent if he could heat up simultaneous to Byron Buxton returning to the field later this week...
- The top four batters in the Twins’ starting lineup combined to go 8-for-16 with a walk, two home runs, and six RBI. More of that, please.
- Bundy has been legitimately great through two starts. Let’s remain cautious in our optimism, but this start certainly felt more impressive than his first one.
- The Twins bullpen remains a bit shaky. But we knew that coming into the season, so I guess let’s not worry about it too much yet. Once the offense rights the ship, however, we’ll have plenty to complain about.
- Dylan Bundy: 5 1⁄3 IP, ER, 6 K, 0 BB, 5 H
- Jorge Polanco: 2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI
- Gio Urshela: 3-for-5
- Carlos Correa: 2-for-4, BB, R
- Kyle Garlick: 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI
- Trevor Larnach: 0-for-5, K in a big spot
- Miguel Sano: 0-for-4, rough start to the season continues — although he bounced back from a rough fielding day on Sunday with a nice diving play down the line
The Twins fly to Kansas City to take on the Royals on Tuesday evening. Finally, some night games!